27 May 2014

Summer, Not a Bummer (Summer Reading List)

In the interest of miming the good ideas of others, I'm going to post my Summer reading list. (After all, if they are good ideas, why not copy them?)

One of my favorite SRLs is the one published by Al Mohler. He seems to have an affinity for some of the same topics I like (history, military, 19th and 20th century culture, etc.). A few of my selections come right off his list. There are many other lists out there, so go find someone who has reading tastes similar to yours, and get busy.

Now for my list:

1. Phillip Jenkins, The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade (HarperOne, 2014).
This book comes right off Dr. Mohler's list. It is a new book on the cultural relevance of the religious nature of World War I. Sounds fascinating, and touches on an era of history often overlooked in our country.

2. R. C. Sproul, Everyone's A Theologian (Reformation Trust, 2014).
I just got this one in, and have read a chapter. It is basically a systematization of Dr. Sproul's many years' worth of lectures on theology. I hope to start a theology reading/discussion group at church and use this book as the starting point for it (but that remains to be seen).

3. Bill Sloan, Given Up for Dead: America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island (Bantam,2004).
This falls into one of my most favorite categories, the US Marine Corps. It also hits another favorite category, World War II.

4. John C. McManus, The Dead and Those About to Die — D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach (NAL Caliber, Penguin Group, 2014).
Same as above, but without the Marine Corps angle. This is a new book, so I need to get it read rather than leave it for (years) later like a few others on this list.

5. Andreas Kostenberger, The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination With Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity (Crossway, 2010).
This book was published about four years ago, and I have had it on my shelf for some time, but haven't gotten around to reading it. Apparently, it is more applicable to the culture today than it was when it came out. Time to get it read.

6. Stephen Ambrose, Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors, (Doubleday, 1975).
This is one of the few Ambrose history books left that I haven't read.

7. D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, (Zondervan, 2009).
Another book on contemporary culture and the Christian Worldview, this book has been begging to be read for five years. I'm going to set aside the time this Summer to finish it.

8. Phil Newton, Elders in the Life of the Church: Rediscovering the Biblical Model for Church Leadership (Kregel, 2014).
My pastor is leading our church toward an elder model of leadership, which I welcome. But he's getting some resistance, mostly of the, 'we've never done it that way before' kind. A bit of the other resistance is simply historical illiteracy. I hope this book can arm me with some cogent arguments to deal with the objections as they arise.

9. Richard Rhodes, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrodgen Bomb, (Simon and Schuster, 2012).
The past three summers I've read one book on the Manhattan Project, and this will be the fourth in a row. It is a fascinating historical topic, and one which would seem to be coverable in a book or two, but may in fact be almost inexhaustible. 

10. Peter Hathaway Capstick, A Man Called Lion: The Life and Times of John Howard Pondoro Taylor, (Safari Press, 2002).
P. H. Capstick is one of my favorite authors. This book isn't as highly rated as some of his others, but is a biography about a person who interests me, as do many of the leaders in 19th and early 20th century Africa. 

11. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (Penguin, 2005).
 This book was originally published in 1985, and has become a cult classic because of how accurate Postman's predictions about culture have been. I've read excerpts, and many, many quotes from the book, but have never sat down and read it all.  Time to knock it out. It is too important to skip.

What books would you add to this list, or put on your own Summer reading list?